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In August, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was pardoned by President Donald Trump after he faced up to six months in prison for not following court orders that told him he was no longer allowed to detain people based on the assumption they were in the country illegally.
The announcement came right after Trump said at an Arizona rally, "He should have had a jury, but you know what? I'll make a prediction: I think he's going to be just fine.”
Well now, Arpaio has made a massive announcement for 2018: He's running for senate.
The 85-year-old could shake up the race and possibly replace Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who is retiring. Arpaio offers an alternative option to potential candidates Kelli Ward and Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ).
He made the announcement through the Washington Examiner and dismissed concerns of his age and his poor reputation with non-white voters:
I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump.
I’m going to have to work hard; you don’t take anything for granted. But I would not being doing this if I thought that I could not win. I’m not here to get my name in the paper, I get that every day, anyway.
Then, he went into his family history and the effect it could have on his campaign:
My mother and father came here from Italy, legally of course. I have a soft spot for the Mexican community having lived there. I’m not going to get into my personal life, but I will say we have four grandkids and some have a different ethnic and racial background. I don’t say that. I don’t use my grandkids. So, I have a soft spot, but still, I’m going to do my job. You have to do it.
Being a U.S. senator is a little different than being the sheriff, because you can do a lot of things in the U.S. Senate, and I have many plans, believe me. It’s tough. It’s a tough decision. But, if you’re going to come across that border, you should be arrested and get the consequences of it.
Arpaio stated his biggest appeal to voters was his outspoken support of President Trump and that he would work endlessly to defeat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, the likely Democratic nominee.
He then explained his stance on immigration:
I have a far-out plan, which may look stupid. When they come to your attention that they’re here illegally, these young people, deport them back to Mexico — or whatever — and then try to put them on a fast track to come back into the United States legally with special permits.
What’s wrong with that? They’d say they don’t know where their home country is, so let them go there and spend six months, because it might take that long to do paperwork to get them here legally and let them see their home country and see what it's really like.
They ought to be proud where they came from. I’m proud being an Italian American. I’m proud of Italy. I’m proud my father, mother came over, proud of it. So, you could kill two birds with one stone.
That would be no amnesty, everybody would be happy, you deport them and then let them come back with all their education here. I’m sure they could find a temporary job or help the foreign countries and build up relations and come back. That’s just a big picture that I have. People may say I’m crazy. What am I crazy about? It just makes sense.
Arpaio stated, “I just want to do everything I can to support our president.”
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